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Sherlock Holmes – Der Vampir von Sussex und andere Detektivgeschichten: Vollständige & Illustrierte Fassung

Sherlock Holmes – Der Vampir von Sussex und andere Detektivgeschichten: Vollständige & Illustrierte Fassung

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Sherlock Holmes – Der Vampir von Sussex und andere Detektivgeschichten: Vollständige & Illustrierte Fassung

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Länge:
289 Seiten
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 27, 2019
ISBN:
9783954182466
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Vollständig überarbeitete, korrigierte und illustrierte Fassung
Mit 32 Illustrationen
Wie kann man Sherlock Holmes nicht kennen? Den berühmtesten Detektiv der Geschichte, der mit seinem messerscharfen Verstand und seiner Ermittlungsart als Vorlage für fast alle kriminalistischen Nachfolger diente.
Hier lernen Sie das lesenswerte Original kennen.
Dieser Band beinhaltet folgende Kurzgeschichten:
"Die Pappschachtel" ("The Cardboard Box"), 1892
Eine alleinstehende Frau bekommt ein Paket, das zwei frisch abgetrennte menschliche Ohren enthält.
"Charles August Milverton" ("Charles August Milverton"), 1904
Holmes wird beauftragt, einen kompromittierenden Brief wiederzubeschaffen, der, veröffentlicht, eine Dame der Gesellschaft in arge Bedrängnis bringen würde.
"Die drei Studenten" ("The Three Students"), 1904
Holmes soll einen Betrug an der Universität aufdecken. Einer von drei Studenten wird verdächtigt, heimlich die Prüfungsfragen an sich gebracht zu haben - aber wer?
"Der verschollene Three-Quarter" ("The Missing Three-Quarter"), 1904
Cyril Overton sucht Hilfe bei Holmes: Der beste Spieler seiner Rugby-Mannschaft ist verschollen.
"Die Thor-Brücke" ("The Problem of Thor Bridge"), 1922
Neil Gibson, ein ehemaliger Senator der USA, beauftragt Holmes, den Mörder seiner Frau Maria zu finden. Beschuldigt wird die Gouvernante seiner Kinder, Grace Dunbar.
"Die drei Garridebs" ("The Three Garridebs"), 1924
Ein seltsames Testament: Alexander Hamilton Garrideb hinterlässt sein gesamtes Vermögen dem nicht mit ihm verwandten John Garrideb, aber nur unter einer sonderbaren Bedingung.
"Der Vampir von Sussex" ("The Sussex Vampire"), 1924
Holmes wird von Robert Ferguson beauftragt, das Leben seines kleinen Sohnes zu schützen, denn Ferguson fürchtet, mit einer Vampirin verheiratet zu sein.
Null Papier Verlag
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 27, 2019
ISBN:
9783954182466
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) was a Scottish writer and physician, most famous for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes and long-suffering sidekick Dr Watson. Conan Doyle was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.


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Sherlock Holmes – Der Vampir von Sussex und andere Detektivgeschichten - Arthur Conan Doyle

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Die Sherlock Holmes-Sammlung

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Die einzelnen Geschichten

»Die Papp­schach­tel« (»The Card­board Box«), 1892

Ei­ne al­lein­ste­hen­de Frau be­kommt ein Pa­ket, das zwei frisch ab­ge­trenn­te mensch­li­che Ohren ent­hält. Alle sind rat­los, auch die Po­li­zei. Kann Hol­mes die­ses bi­zar­re Rät­sel ent­schlüs­seln und die ab­scheu­li­che Tat da­hin­ter auf­klä­ren?

»Charles Au­gust Mil­ver­ton« (»Charles Au­gust Mil­ver­ton«), 1904

Hol­mes wird be­auf­tragt, einen kom­pro­mit­tie­ren­den Brief wie­der­zu­be­schaf­fen, der, ver­öf­fent­licht, eine Dame der Ge­sell­schaft in arge Be­dräng­nis brin­gen wür­de. Der Brief be­fin­det sich in den Hän­den des ruch­lo­sen Er­pres­sers Charles Au­gust Mil­ver­ton. Die­ser ent­puppt sich als hart­nä­cki­ger Geg­ner.

»Die drei Stu­den­ten« (»The Three Stu­dents«), 1904

Hol­mes soll einen Be­trug an der Uni­ver­si­tät auf­de­cken. Ei­ner von drei Stu­den­ten wird ver­däch­tigt, heim­lich die Prü­fungs­fra­gen an sich ge­bracht zu ha­ben – aber wer? Hol­mes hat nur we­nig Zeit, denn der Prü­fungs­ter­min steht vor der Tür.

»Der ver­schol­le­ne Three-Quar­ter« (»The Mis­sing Three-Quar­ter«), 1904

Cy­ril Over­ton sucht Hil­fe bei Hol­mes: Der bes­te Spie­ler sei­ner Rug­by-Mann­schaft ist ver­schol­len. Es gilt, den be­gehr­ten Spie­ler schleu­nigst wie­der auf­zu­trei­ben, denn be­reits am nächs­ten Tag steht ein ent­schei­den­des Spiel an.

»Die Thor-Brücke« (»The Pro­blem of Thor Bridge«), 1922

Neil Gib­son, ein ehe­ma­li­ger Se­na­tor der USA, be­auf­tragt Hol­mes, den Mör­der sei­ner Frau Ma­ria zu fin­den. Be­schul­digt wird die Gou­ver­nan­te sei­ner Kin­der, Grace Dun­bar. Was steckt hin­ter dem In­ter­es­se des Wit­wers, wirk­li­cher Sinn nach Ge­rech­tig­keit oder gibt es noch ein an­de­res Mo­tiv?

»Die drei Gar­ri­debs« (»The Three Gar­ri­debs«), 1924

Ein selt­sa­mes Te­sta­ment: Alex­an­der Ha­mil­ton Gar­ri­deb hin­ter­lässt sein ge­sam­tes Ver­mö­gen dem nicht mit ihm ver­wand­ten John Gar­ri­deb. Aber nur un­ter der Be­din­gung, dass die­ser noch zwei wei­te­re Na­mens­vet­ter auf­treibt, mit de­nen er das Erbe zu tei­len hat. Hol­mes wird ein­ge­schal­tet, als die Be­mü­hun­gen im San­de ver­lau­fen.

»Der Vam­pir von Sus­sex« (»The Sus­sex Vam­pi­re«), 1924

Ein mys­te­ri­öser Fall. Hol­mes wird von Ro­bert Fer­gu­son be­auf­tragt, das Le­ben sei­nes klei­nen Soh­nes zu schüt­zen, denn Fer­gu­son fürch­tet, mit ei­ner Vam­pi­rin ver­hei­ra­tet zu sein. Hol­mes und Wat­son ma­chen sich auf die Jagd.

Arthur Conan Doyle & Sherlock Holmes

Wo­mög­lich wäre die Li­te­ra­tur heu­te um eine ih­rer schil­lernds­ten De­tek­tiv­ge­stal­ten är­mer, wür­de der am 22. Mai 1859 in Edin­bur­gh ge­bo­re­ne Ar­thur Igna­ti­us Co­nan Doy­le nicht aus­ge­rech­net an der me­di­zi­ni­schen Fa­kul­tät der Uni­ver­si­tät sei­ner Hei­mat­stadt stu­die­ren. Hier näm­lich lehrt der spä­ter als Vor­rei­ter der Fo­ren­sik gel­ten­de Chir­urg Jo­seph Bell. Die Metho­dik des Do­zen­ten, sei­ne Züge und sei­ne ha­ge­re Ge­stalt wird der an­ge­hen­de Au­tor für den der­einst be­rühm­tes­ten De­tek­tiv der Kri­mi­nal­li­te­ra­tur über­neh­men.

Ge­burt und Tod des Hol­mes

Der ers­te Ro­man des seit 1883 in South­sea prak­ti­zie­ren­den Arz­tes teilt das Schick­sal zahl­lo­ser Erst­lin­ge – er bleibt un­voll­en­det in der Schub­la­de. Erst 1887 be­tritt Sher­lock Hol­mes die Büh­ne, als „Ei­ne Stu­die in Schar­lach­rot er­scheint. Nach­dem Co­nan Doy­le im Ma­ga­zin The Strand sei­ne Hol­mes-Epi­so­den ver­öf­fent­li­chen darf, ist er als er­folg­rei­cher Au­tor zu be­zeich­nen. The Strand er­öff­net die Rei­he mit „Ein Skan­dal in Böh­men. Im Jahr 1890 zieht der Schrift­stel­ler nach Lon­don, wo er ein Jahr dar­auf, dank sei­nes li­te­ra­ri­schen Schaf­fens, be­reits sei­ne Fa­mi­lie er­näh­ren kann; seit 1885 ist er mit Loui­se Hawkins ver­hei­ra­tet, die ihm einen Sohn und eine Toch­ter schenkt.

Gin­ge es aus­schließ­lich nach den Le­sern, wäre dem küh­len De­tek­tiv und sei­nem schnauz­bär­ti­gen Mit­be­woh­ner ewi­ges Le­ben be­schie­den. Die Aben­teu­er der bei­den Freun­de neh­men frei­lich, wie ihr Schöp­fer meint, zu viel Zeit in An­spruch; der Au­tor möch­te his­to­ri­sche Ro­ma­ne ver­fas­sen. Des­halb stürzt er 1893 in „Das letz­te Pro­blem" so­wohl den De­tek­tiv als auch des­sen Wi­der­sa­cher Mo­ri­ar­ty in die Rei­chen­bach­fäl­le. Die Pro­tes­te der ent­täusch­ten Le­ser­schaft fruch­ten nicht – Hol­mes ist tot.

Die Wie­der­au­fer­ste­hung des Hol­mes

Ob­wohl sich der Schrift­stel­ler mitt­ler­wei­le der Ver­gan­gen­heit und dem Mys­ti­zis­mus wid­met, bleibt sein In­ter­es­se an Po­li­tik und rea­len Her­aus­for­de­run­gen doch un­ge­bro­chen. Den Zwei­ten Bu­ren­krieg er­lebt Co­nan Doy­le seit 1896 an der Front in Süd­afri­ka. Aus sei­nen Ein­drücken und po­li­ti­schen An­sich­ten re­sul­tie­ren zwei nach 1900 pu­bli­zier­te pro­pa­gan­dis­ti­sche Wer­ke, wo­für ihn Queen Vic­to­ria zum Rit­ter schlägt.

Eben zu je­ner Zeit weilt Sir Ar­thur zur Er­ho­lung in Nor­folk, was Hol­mes zu neu­en Ehren ver­hel­fen wird. Der Li­te­rat hört dort von ei­nem Geis­ter­hund, der in Dart­moor¹ eine Fa­mi­lie ver­fol­gen soll. Um das Mys­te­ri­um auf­zu­klä­ren, re­ani­miert Co­nan Doy­le sei­nen ex­zen­tri­schen Ana­ly­ti­ker: 1903 er­scheint „Der Hund der Bas­ker­vil­les. Zeit­lich noch vor dem Tod des De­tek­tivs in der Schweiz an­ge­sie­delt, er­fährt das Buch enor­men Zu­spruch, wes­halb der Au­tor das Ge­nie 1905 in „Das lee­re Haus end­gül­tig wie­der­be­lebt.

Das un­wi­der­ruf­li­che Ende des Hol­mes

Nach dem Tod sei­ner ers­ten Frau im Jahr 1906 und der Hei­rat mit der, wie Co­nan Doy­le glaubt, me­di­al be­gab­ten Jean Le­ckie be­fasst sich der Pri­vat­mann mit Spi­ri­tis­mus. Sein li­te­ra­ri­sches Schaf­fen kon­zen­triert sich zu­neh­mend auf Zu­kunfts­ro­ma­ne, de­ren be­kann­tes­ter Pro­tago­nist der Ex­zen­tri­ker Pro­fes­sor Chal­len­ger ist. Als po­pu­lärs­ter Chal­len­ger-Ro­man gilt die 1912 ver­öf­fent­lich­te und be­reits 1925 ver­film­te Ge­schich­te „Die ver­ges­se­ne Welt", die Co­nan Doy­le zu ei­nem Witz ver­hilft: Der durch­aus schlitz­oh­ri­ge Schrift­stel­ler zeigt im klei­nen Kreis ei­ner Spi­ri­tis­ten­sit­zung Film­auf­nah­men ver­meint­lich le­ben­der Sau­ri­er, ohne zu er­wäh­nen, dass es sich um Ma­te­ri­al der ers­ten Ro­man­ver­fil­mung han­delt.

Die spä­te Freund­schaft des Li­te­ra­ten mit Hou­di­ni zer­bricht am Spi­ri­tis­mus-Streit, denn der un­char­man­te Zau­ber­künst­ler ent­larvt zahl­rei­che Be­trü­ger, wäh­rend der Schrift­stel­ler von der Exis­tenz des Über­na­tür­li­chen über­zeugt ist. Co­nan Doy­les Geis­ter­glau­be er­hält Auf­trieb, als sein äl­tes­ter Sohn Kings­ley wäh­rend des Ers­ten Welt­kriegs an der Front fällt.

Noch bis 1927 be­dient der Au­tor das Pub­li­kum mit Kurz­ge­schich­ten um Hol­mes und Wat­son; zu­letzt er­scheint „Das Buch der Fäl­le". Als Sir Ar­thur Co­nan Doy­le am 7. Juli 1930 stirbt, trau­ern Fa­mi­lie und Le­ser­schaft glei­cher­ma­ßen, denn dies­mal ist Hol­mes wirk­lich tot.

Von der Be­deu­tung ei­nes Ge­schöp­fes

Oder viel­mehr ist Hol­mes ein ewi­ger Wie­der­gän­ger, der im Ge­dächt­nis des Pub­li­kums fort­lebt. Nicht we­ni­ge Le­ser hiel­ten und hal­ten den De­tek­tiv für eine exis­ten­te Per­son, was nicht zu­letzt Co­nan Doy­les er­zäh­le­ri­schem Ge­schick und dem Rea­li­täts­be­zug der Ge­schich­ten zu ver­dan­ken sein dürf­te. Tat­säch­lich kam man im 20. Jahr­hun­dert dem Be­dürf­nis nach et­was Hand­fes­tem nach, in­dem ein Haus in der Lon­do­ner Ba­ker Street die Num­mer 221 b er­hielt. Dort be­fin­det sich das Sher­lock-Hol­mes-Mu­se­um.

Co­nan Doy­les zeit­ge­nös­si­scher Schrift­stel­ler­kol­le­ge Gil­bert Keith Che­s­ter­ton, geis­ti­ger Va­ter des kri­mi­na­lis­ti­schen Pa­ter Brown, brach­te das li­te­ra­ri­sche Ver­dienst sei­nes Lands­manns auf den Punkt: Sinn­ge­mäß sag­te er, dass es nie bes­se­re De­tek­tiv­ge­schich­ten ge­ge­ben habe und dass Hol­mes mög­li­cher­wei­se die ein­zi­ge volks­tüm­li­che Le­gen­de der Mo­der­ne sei, de­ren Ur­he­ber man gleich­wohl nie ge­nug ge­dankt habe.

Dass der De­tek­tiv sein sons­ti­ges Schaf­fen der­ma­ßen über­la­gern konn­te, war Co­nan Doy­le selbst nie­mals recht. Er hielt sei­ne his­to­ri­schen, po­li­ti­schen und spä­ter sei­ne mys­ti­zis­tisch-spi­ri­tis­ti­schen Ar­bei­ten für wert­vol­ler, wäh­rend die Kurz­ge­schich­ten dem blo­ßen Brot­er­werb dienten. Ver­mut­lich über­sah er bei der Selb­st­ein­schät­zung sei­ner ver­meint­li­chen Tri­vi­al­li­te­ra­tur de­ren enor­me Wir­kung, die weit über ih­ren ho­hen Un­ter­hal­tungs­wert hin­aus­ging.

So wie Jo­seph Bell, Co­nan Doy­les Do­zent an der Uni­ver­si­tät, durch prä­zi­se Beo­b­ach­tung auf die Er­kran­kun­gen sei­ner Pa­ti­en­ten schlie­ßen konn­te, soll­te Sher­lock Hol­mes an Kri­mi­nal­fäl­le her­an­ge­hen, die so­wohl sei­nen Kli­en­ten als auch der Po­li­zei un­er­klär­lich schie­nen. Bells streng wis­sen­schaft­li­ches Vor­ge­hen stand Pate für De­duk­ti­on und fo­ren­si­sche Metho­dik in den vier Ro­ma­nen und 56 Kurz­ge­schich­ten um den ha­ge­ren Gent­le­man-De­tek­tiv. Pro­fes­sor Bell be­riet die Po­li­zei bei der Ver­bre­chensauf­klä­rung, ohne in den of­fi­zi­el­len Be­rich­ten oder in den Zei­tun­gen er­wähnt wer­den zu wol­len. Die Ähn­lich­keit zu Hol­mes ist au­gen­fäl­lig. Wirk­lich war in den Ge­schich­ten die Fik­ti­on der Rea­li­tät vor­aus, denn wis­sen­schaft­li­che Ar­beits­wei­se, ge­naue Ta­tort­un­ter­su­chung und ana­ly­tisch-ra­tio­na­les Vor­ge­hen wa­ren der Kri­mi­na­lis­tik je­ner Tage neu. Man ur­teil­te nach Au­gen­schein und ent­warf Theo­ri­en, wo­bei die Be­weis­füh­rung nicht er­geb­ni­sof­fen ge­führt wur­de, son­dern le­dig­lich jene Theo­ri­en be­le­gen soll­te. Zwei­fel­los hat die Po­pu­la­ri­tät der Er­leb­nis­se von Hol­mes und Wat­son den Auf­stieg der rea­len Fo­ren­sik in der Ver­bre­chensauf­klä­rung un­ter­stützt.

Ein wei­te­rer in­ter­essan­ter Aspekt der Er­zäh­lun­gen be­trifft Co­nan Doy­les Nei­gung, sei­ne ei­ge­nen An­sich­ten ein­zu­ar­bei­ten. Zwar be­vor­zug­te er zu die­sem Zweck an­de­re Schaf­fens­zwei­ge, aber es fin­den sich ge­sell­schaft­li­che und mo­ra­li­sche Mei­nun­gen, wenn Hol­mes etwa Ver­bre­cher ent­kom­men lässt, weil er meint, dass eine Tat ge­recht ge­we­sen oder je­mand be­reits durch sein Schick­sal ge­nug ge­straft sei. Ge­le­gent­lich ist da­bei fest­zu­stel­len, dass er An­ge­hö­ri­ge nied­ri­ger Stän­de gleich­gül­ti­ger be­han­delt als die Ver­tre­ter der „gu­ten Ge­sell­schaft".

Fik­ti­ve Bio­gra­fi­en des De­tek­tivs, Büh­nen­stücke, Ver­fil­mun­gen und zahl­lo­se Nach­ah­mun­gen, dar­un­ter nicht sel­ten Sa­ti­ren, von de­nen Co­nan Doy­le mit „Wie Wat­son den Trick lern­te" 1923 selbst eine ver­fass­te, kün­den von der un­ge­bro­che­nen Be­liebt­heit des kri­mi­na­lis­ti­schen Duos, ohne das die Welt­li­te­ra­tur we­ni­ger span­nend wäre.


be­rüch­tig­tes, bri­ti­sches Ge­fäng­nis in ei­ner Moor­ge­gend ge­le­gen  <<<

Die Pappschachtel

In­dem ich eine Rei­he von ty­pi­schen Fäl­len ver­öf­fent­licht habe, wel­che die au­ßer­or­dent­li­chen geis­ti­gen Ei­gen­schaf­ten mei­nes Freun­des Sher­lock Hol­mes dar­tun, war ich mög­lichst be­strebt, sol­che Aben­teu­er aus­zu­wäh­len, die das ge­rings­te Maß von Sen­sa­ti­on ent­hal­ten. Die­se Fäl­le sind nach mei­ner An­sicht näm­lich mehr als an­de­re ge­eig­net, die be­son­de­ren Ga­ben und Fä­hig­kei­ten mei­nes Freun­des dar­zu­le­gen. Es ist in­des­sen lei­der un­mög­lich, al­les Sen­sa­tio­nel­le vom Kri­mi­nel­len zu tren­nen, und da ich mir die Auf­ga­be ge­stellt habe, über die Ta­ten Sher­lock Hol­mes’ zu be­rich­ten, be­fin­de ich mich in der pein­li­chen Lage, ent­we­der wich­ti­ge Ein­zel­hei­ten weg­las­sen und so ein falsches Bild von dem Pro­blem ge­ben zu müs­sen, oder nur sol­che Fäl­le aus­zu­wäh­len, die zu­fäl­lig nicht zu­gleich auch »sen­sa­tio­nell« sind. Nach die­ser kur­z­en Vor­re­de grei­fe ich nun zu mei­nen No­ti­zen über einen Fall, der sich als eine be­son­ders selt­sa­me und zu­gleich schreck­li­che Fol­ge von Er­eig­nis­sen her­aus­ge­stellt hat.

Es war ein sen­gend hei­ßer Tag im Au­gust. Die Ba­ker Street glüh­te wie ein Back­ofen, und das blen­den­de Son­nen­licht auf der Back­stein­wand des dem un­se­ren ge­gen­über­lie­gen­den Hau­ses tat dem Auge weh. Man konn­te nicht glau­ben, dass dies die­sel­ben Mau­ern sei­en, wel­che sonst so furcht­bar düs­ter durch den Win­ter­ne­bel zu uns her­über­blick­ten. Un­se­re Vor­hän­ge wa­ren halb ge­schlos­sen, und Hol­mes lag aus­ge­streckt auf dem Sofa; er las einen Brief, den er mit der Mor­gen­post er­hal­ten hat­te, nun zum zwei­ten Mal durch. Was mich selbst be­trifft, so hat­te mich mein Dienst in In­di­en dar­an ge­wöhnt, große Hit­ze bes­ser denn Käl­te zu er­tra­gen, und so war es mir bei ei­nem Ther­mo­me­ter­stand von 30 Grad ganz be­hag­lich zu­mu­te. Aber die Mor­gen­zei­tung bot nichts In­ter­essan­tes. Das Par­la­ment war ver­tagt wor­den; alle Welt hat­te die Stadt ver­las­sen, und ich selbst sehn­te mich nach der küh­len Däm­me­rung des Wal­des oder nach der fri­schen See­luft. Mein Gut­ha­ben auf der Bank war er­schöpft; dies bil­de­te den ein­zi­gen Grund, warum ich mei­ne Fe­ri­en noch ver­scho­ben hat­te, und was mei­nen Freund be­traf, so üb­ten we­der das Meer noch der Wald die ge­rings­te An­zie­hung auf ihn aus. Er lieb­te es, im Mit­tel­punkt von fünf Mil­lio­nen Leu­ten zu sit­zen und sei­ne Fühl­fä­den über­all­hin über sie aus­zu­span­nen, stets ge­wär­tig, bei dem ge­rings­ten Ver­dacht ei­nes un­auf­ge­klär­ten Ver­bre­chens in Tä­tig­keit zu tre­ten. Die Wert­schät­zung der Na­tur wor­un­ter sei­nen ver­schie­de­nen Ga­ben kei­nes­wegs an­zu­tref­fen, und aufs Land kam er nur dann, wenn er den Übel­tä­ter der Stadt zeit­wei­lig ver­ließ, um den Spu­ren sei­nes Ge­nos­sen auf dem Lan­de zu fol­gen.

Da ich fand, dass Hol­mes zu eif­rig mit sei­nem Brief be­schäf­tigt war, als dass ich ihn hät­te un­ter­bre­chen mö­gen, warf ich die lang­wei­li­ge Zei­tung bei­sei­te und lehn­te mich in mei­nen Stuhl zu­rück, wor­auf ich bald in Träu­me­rei ver­fiel. Plötz­lich riss mich die Stim­me Sher­lock Hol­mes’ aus mei­nen Ge­dan­ken.

»Du hast recht, Wat­son,« sag­te er, »dies scheint auch mir eine ganz un­sin­ni­ge Art zu sein, Strei­tig­kei­ten zu er­le­di­gen.«

»Ganz sinn­los!« rief ich aus. Aber dann wur­de mir plötz­lich klar, dass Sher­lock Hol­mes den in­ners­ten Ge­dan­ken mei­ner See­le aus­ge­spro­chen hat­te. Ich fuhr in mei­nem Stuhl in die Höhe und sah ihn mit un­ver­hoh­le­nem Er­stau­nen an.

»Wie kamst du dar­auf, Hol­mes?« rief ich aus, »das über­steigt doch al­les, was ich je für mög­lich ge­hal­ten hät­te.«

Er lach­te herz­lich über mein Er­stau­nen. »Du wirst dich er­in­nern,« sag­te er, »dass vor ei­ni­ger Zeit, als ich dir jene Stel­le aus ei­ner von Poes Er­zäh­lun­gen vor­las, in der ein schar­fer kri­ti­scher Den­ker den un­aus­ge­spro­che­nen Ge­dan­ken sei­nes Freun­des folgt, dass du da­mals große Lust zeig­test, die­sen Fall le­dig­lich als einen ge­wand­ten Trick des Ver­fas­sers auf­zu­fas­sen. Als ich dir da­mals be­merk­te, dass ich die stän­di­ge Ge­wohn­heit habe, ganz das­sel­be zu tun, drück­test du mir un­ver­kenn­bar dei­nen Zwei­fel an mei­ner Be­haup­tung aus.«

»O, nein!«

»Vi­el­leicht nicht mit der Stim­me, mein lie­ber Wat­son, aber ganz si­cher­lich mit dei­nen Au­gen­brau­en. So hat­te ich jetzt, als ich sah, dass du dei­ne Zei­tung weg­war­fest, und in dei­nem Stuh­le an­fin­gest, dei­ne Ge­dan­ken wan­dern zu las­sen, eine sel­ten gute Ge­le­gen­heit, dei­nem Ge­dan­ken­zug zu fol­gen und ihn dann plötz­lich zu un­ter­bre­chen, wo­durch ich dir mit größ­ter Klar­heit be­wei­sen konn­te, dass ich ge­nau von dei­nen Ge­dan­ken un­ter­rich­tet war.«

Aber ich war noch lan­ge nicht be­frie­digt. »In dem Bei­spiel, das du mir vor­ge­le­sen hast,« sag­te ich, »schloss je­ner schar­fe Den­ker nach den Hand­lun­gen des Man­nes, den er be­ob­ach­te­te. Wenn ich mich recht er­in­ne­re, so stol­per­te er über einen Hau­fen Stei­ne, blick­te dann zum Him­mel em­por usw., ich da­ge­gen bin hier ganz ru­hig in mei­nem Stuhl ge­ses­sen – was kann ich dir da über­haupt für An­halts­punk­te ge­ge­ben ha­ben?«

»Du tust dir selbst un­recht. Der Ge­sichts­aus­druck ist dem Men­schen als das Mit­tel ge­ge­ben, sei­ne Ge­müts­be­we­gun­gen zu of­fen­ba­ren, und dei­ne Ge­sichts­zü­ge fol­gen je­der Re­gung aufs wil­ligs­te.«

»Willst du da­mit sa­gen, dass du mir die Ge­dan­ken vom Ge­sicht ab­ge­le­sen hast?«

»Vom Ge­sicht und ganz be­son­ders von den Au­gen! Vi­el­leicht kannst du dich gar nicht mehr be­sin­nen, wie dei­ne Träu­me­rei be­gon­nen hat.«

»Nein, das kann ich nicht.«

»Dann will ich es dir sa­gen. Nach­dem du die Zei­tung zu Bo­den ge­wor­fen hast, – und das war es, was mei­ne Auf­merk­sam­keit auf dich lenk­te – sa­ßest du etwa eine hal­be Mi­nu­te lang mit aus­drucks­lo­sem Ge­sich­te da. Dann rich­te­ten sich dei­ne Au­gen auf das neu­ge­rahm­te Por­trät des Ge­ne­rals Gor­don, und ich sah an der Ver­än­de­rung in dei­nem Ge­sicht, dass eine Ket­te von Ge­dan­ken in dei­nem Ge­hirn zu ent­ste­hen be­gon­nen hat­te; aber sie führ­te mich nicht weit. Dei­ne Au­gen streif­ten das nicht ein­ge­rahm­te Por­trät des Hen­ry Ward Bee­cher, das da oben über dei­nen Bü­chern hängt. Dann schau­test du an der Wand hin­auf, und was du da­bei dach­test, war ganz of­fen­sicht­lich: Wenn, dach­test du, auch die­ses Por­trät ge­rahmt wäre, wür­de es ge­ra­de die lee­re Flä­che dort fül­len und so ein hüb­sches Pend­ant zu dem Gor­don bil­den.«

»Du bist mei­nen Ge­dan­ken wun­der­bar ge­folgt!« rief ich aus.

»So­weit hat­te ich kaum fehl­ge­hen kön­nen. Aber nun kehr­ten dei­ne Ge­dan­ken wie­der zu Bee­cher zu­rück, und du schau­test das Bild scharf an, wie wenn du den Cha­rak­ter des Man­nes in sei­nen Ge­sichts­zü­gen hät­test stu­die­ren wol­len. Dann lös­ten sich die Fal­ten über dei­nem Auge, aber im­mer noch sahst du nach dem Bil­de hin­über, und dein Ge­sicht war sehr ernst­haft und ge­dan­ken­voll. Du rie­fest dir zwei­fel­los die Ein­zel­hei­ten aus Bee­chers Le­ben ins Ge­dächt­nis zu­rück; nun war es ganz klar, dass du das nicht konn­test, ohne da­bei auch an die Mis­si­on zu den­ken, die er zur­zeit des Bür­ger­krie­ges im In­ter­es­se der ame­ri­ka­ni­schen Nord­staa­ten er­füllt hat­te, denn ich er­in­ne­re mich noch ganz ge­nau, wie lei­den­schaft­lich du da­mals dei­ner Miss­bil­li­gung über die Art und Wei­se Aus­druck ge­ge­ben hast, in wel­cher die­ser wür­di­ge Mann von den we­ni­ger ge­müt­li­chen Ele­men­ten un­se­rer Be­völ­ke­rung emp­fan­gen wur­de. Du bist da­mals so em­pört ge­we­sen, dass ich ge­nau wuss­te, du könn­test nicht an Bee­cher den­ken, ohne auch auf die­se Mis­si­on zu kom­men. Als dann einen Au­gen­blick spä­ter dei­ne Au­gen von dem Bil­de sich weg­wand­ten, konn­te ich mit Recht an­neh­men, dass dei­ne Ge­dan­ken nun beim nord­ame­ri­ka­ni­schen Bür­ger­krieg an­ge­langt sei­en, und als ich jetzt be­ob­ach­te­te, dass dei­ne Lip­pen sich zu­sam­men­knif­fen, dei­ne Au­gen glänz­ten und dei­ne bei­den Hän­de die Stuhl­leh­nen fes­ter um­klam­mer­ten, so war ich über­zeugt da­von, dass du an die he­ro­i­schen Ta­ten dach­test, die in die­sem Verzweif­lungs­kamp­fe auf bei­den Sei­ten aus­ge­führt wur­den. Aber dann auf ein­mal wur­de dein Ge­sicht trau­rig; du schüt­tel­test den Kopf, du dach­test über die trau­ri­ge und schreck­li­che und nutz­lo­se Ver­nich­tung so vie­ler Men­schen­le­ben nach. Dei­ne Hand griff un­will­kür­lich nach dei­ner ei­ge­nen al­ten Wun­de, und ein leich­tes Lä­cheln zog über dei­ne Lip­pen, was mir zeig­te, dass ich dich von der Lä­cher­lich­keit die­ser Metho­de, in­ter­na­tio­na­le Strei­tig­kei­ten bei­zu­le­gen, über­zeugt hat­te. Bei die­sem Punkt an­ge­langt drück­te ich dir mei­ne Zu­stim­mung da­mit aus, dass dies ganz un­sin­nig sei, und zu mei­ner großen Freu­de er­sah ich aus dei­nem Ver­hal­ten, dass alle mei­ne Schluss­fol­ge­run­gen rich­tig ge­we­sen wa­ren.«

»Voll­stän­dig rich­tig!« be­merk­te ich. »Und nun, wo du mir al­les er­klärt hast, er­scheint mir al­les noch viel wun­der­ba­rer als zu­vor.«

»O, das war al­les sehr ein­fach, mein lie­ber Wat­son, ich ver­si­che­re dich, eine ganz ober­fläch­li­che Sa­che. Ich wür­de auch ge­wiss dei­ne Auf­merk­sam­keit nicht dar­auf ge­lenkt ha­ben, hät­test du mir nicht neu­lich dei­ne Ungläu­big­keit ge­zeigt. Aber hier habe ich ein klei­nes Pro­blem vor mir, des­sen Lö­sung sich ver­mut­lich schwie­ri­ger ge­stal­ten wird als mein klei­ner Ver­such im Ge­dan­ken­le­sen. Hast du in der Zei­tung die klei­ne No­tiz be­merkt, die sich auf den son­der­ba­ren In­halt ei­nes Pa­ke­tes be­zieht, das durch die Post ei­nem Fräu­lein Su­san Cus­hing, Cross Street in Croy­don zu­ge­schickt wor­den ist?«

»Nein, ich habe sie nicht ge­le­sen.«

»So? Dann musst du sie über­se­hen ha­ben; bit­te, gib mir mal die Zei­tung her­über. Hier ist’s, un­ter den Bör­sen­nach­rich­ten. Vi­el­leicht bist du so freund­lich, mir den kur­z­en Be­richt laut vor­zu­le­sen.«

Ich nahm die Zei­tung zur Hand und las die be­zeich­ne­te Stel­le vor. Sie war über­schrie­ben: ›Ein grau­si­ges Pa­ket‹ und lau­te­te fol­gen­der­ma­ßen:

»Fräu­lein Su­san Cus­hing, Cross Street in Croy­don, ist das Op­fer ei­nes of­fen­bar au­ßer­or­dent­lich schlecht an­ge­brach­ten, so­ge­nann­ten ›Scher­zes‹ ge­wor­den, so­fern nicht über­haupt dem Zwi­schen­fall eine viel erns­te­re Be­deu­tung bei­ge­legt wer­den muss. Ges­tern Nach­mit­tag um zwei

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Was die anderen über Sherlock Holmes – Der Vampir von Sussex und andere Detektivgeschichten denken

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  • (4/5)
    I think I liked these short stories better than I liked the novels -- or novellas, or whatever you wish to call A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four. I think that was partially because they suffer less from what I think is a pretty off-putting structural problem with the longer stories, and instead keep things simpler. It's also nice that they represent a wider range of cases, with some that aren't specifically crimes/don't involve death, and with Irene Adler there to put Holmes in his place -- just a little.

    The stories are also amazingly easy to read. I've read modern work which is less accessible and engaging.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories.
  • (4/5)
    Well, what can I say? It's Sherlock Holmes. Even if you've never read any of Conan Doyle's stories (and shame on you!) you probably still know quite a bit about this figure that is one of the most iconic in literature and even know details of many of his cases. Prior to this more systematic read-through I had only actually read a few of the stories and much of my knowledge came from the (admittedly excellent) BBC TV series starring the late great Jeremy Brett (the best of all Holmes').

    These twelve stories represent the first of his continuing adventures published after the initial novels _A Study in Scarlet_ and _The Sign of Four_ (which I have yet to read). They are all uniformly entertaining and well-written, though some stood out to me, most notably "A Scandal in Bohemia" where Holmes is actually beaten, and not by a criminal nemesis like Moriarty, but by the brilliant Irene Adler; "The Boscombe Valley Mystery" which encompases unrequited love, outlaws on the frontier, and treacherous blackmailing; "The Five Orange Pips" which pits Holmes against the nefarious machinations of the KKK; "The Man with the Twisted Lip" one of the many cases which makes use of mistaken identity, and "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" which portrays the also common theme of familial dysfunction and paternal greed.

    I was a little surprised to note a few things in my reading, one of which was the number of strong female characters Doyle made use of. From Irene Adler and Violet Hunter, who both impress Holmes with their intellignece, courage and ability, to the no nonsense Hatty Doran and Mrs. Toller. Next, I think Doyle may not have had much of a fondness for dogs given their characterisation in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" and (from what I gather at least) _The Hound of the Baskervilles_...maybe he was a cat guy? It was curious to see several references also made to Holmes' great physical strength...something I wasn't particularly aware of. I had mistakenly thought him to be primarily an intellectual hero. Finally it was a bit surprising to see the number of times that Holmes does not "get his man" and the criminals escape, perhaps to be punished by Fate, but this is not always the case. Somewhat tied in with this last point: Holmes seems content to let his fair share of criminals escape 'justice' so long as he sees the validity of their actions or believes in the sincerity of their contrition. He's simply interested in the puzzle (and crime merely gives it more zest), not really in meting out justice per se.

    Many plot elements seem to recur in these stories, but I don't know that this is a major detraction since the main draw of all of these tales is, of course, the unparalleled character of Holmes himself and the incredible deductive method he uses. Yes it's true, Holmes is a bit of a prick and he always likes to show off (though he'd never admit it). He is, however, nearly always right, so can you blame him for having a somewhat cool disdain for us mere mortals? He also has enough failings to make him interesting (whether it's his monomania when it comes to solving puzzles, his drug addiction, or his passive-aggressive need to be praised by his somewhat dim compatriot Dr. Watson). He was also made somewhat more sympathetic (to me at least) in his ironic disdain for many of the upper class people that become his clients (most notably the King of Bohemia and Lord Robert St. Simon who are at the receiving end a few choice bon mots) and his very real sympathy for the weak victims preyed upon by the strong and unscrupulous in his cases.

    Overall, Sherlock Holmes' adventures provide very enjoyable reading and one almost feels they are walking through the foggy streets of London, or across the blustery English countryside with him in these reminiscences of the good doctor. I should note here that I was listening to the free Librivox audio recording for this "read" as performed by Ruth Golding. She was an excellent narrator with good pace and excellent dramatic feeling. Her character of Holmes was quite good, but I must admit that I found Watson's 'voice' a little bit odd (I think this may have contributed above and beyond anything in the actual text to making him appear a bit of a simpleton), and some of the secondary characters followed suit. Overall though, a very enjoyable listen.
  • (5/5)
    My first Sherlock Holmes.. and it won't be my last!
  • (4/5)
    A collection of tales from Sherlock Holmes.
  • (3/5)
    I will admit I was reading this primarily to provide context for the recent movies (and... other media) so I wasn't nearly as concerned with the quality of the mysteries. I can definitely see why Holmes and Watson are such resilient characters - their relationship is delightful. The actual stories are pleasantly short, and I was satisfied that while I couldn't actually solve the mystery most of the time (the reader doesn't get enough info) I could usually see the shape of it, which made me anticipate the reveal more tan I would have otherwise.
  • (4/5)
    I have read most of these stories before, but not all of them. So, I finally just sat down and read the whole volume. They are all excellent, of course, but I was particularly fond of "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches," which I found to be the most modern of them all as well as the most exciting. It's hard to go wrong with Holmes.
  • (4/5)
    Summary: Everyone's favorite detective is back at work in this collection of short stories. Narrated by his companion John Watson, the twelve stories in this collection show Sherlock Holmes at his best; not always solving the crime, but always applying his unique blend of observation, deduction, and the application of an endless supply of seemingly trivial knowledge into catching criminals and solving the seemingly impossible problems that are brought to his door. The stories included are "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League," "A Case of Identity," "The Boscombe Valley Mystery," "The Five Orange Pips," "The Man with the Twisted Lip," "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb," "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor"," "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet," and "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches."Review: Reading this book was a very interesting experience. I was familiar with the characters, and even with some of the stories, from their various derivative books, movies and TV incarnations, but I'd never actually read any of the original works. It was inevitable that some of my preconceptions based on those other works leaked into my experience of this book, but there were also aspects of the original that definitely surprised me. To start with, I was surprised at how short a lot of the stories were. Had I been thinking about it, I would have realized that packing 12 stories into 9 hours of audiobook necessarily means that they're going to average out to 45 minutes apiece. But I'd watched the BBC Benedict Cumberbatch version fairly recently, and each (90 minute) episode of that has, if not multiple mysteries per se, then at least multiple times when Sherlock is using his deductive powers, and typically a fair number of twists and turns. For example, the very first story, "A Scandal in Bohemia", I was enjoying drawing the connections to the episode "A Scandal in Belgravia," and listening to the original and seeing what stayed and what got updated for the TV version. But then the story just... stopped, or so it seemed to me, and I was left wondering "where's the rest?" Because of course the episode extrapolates and adds on to its source material, but I was still left feeling a little shortchanged. In several other of the stories as well, there's sort of an abrupt feeling, without the same tension or excitement or mysteriousness that I was expecting. I realize that that's not entirely fair to Doyle's work, but it's maybe an inevitable consequence of the order in which I experienced things.At the same time, however, I did find these stories on the whole quite fun, in particular some of the ones with which I was less familiar. I thought "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" was fun, and complex enough to keep me intrigued, and "The Man with the Twisted Lip" and "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" both had an excellent flavor of different aspects of Victorian London to them. I also liked hearing Watson speak for himself, and thought the language was more modern than I was expecting (although the phrase "knock you up" for "call upon you" - e.g. "Sorry to knock you up so early in the morning" - never failed to confuse/amuse me).I did find that if I listened to more than one or two stories in a row, they quickly got to feel fairly formulaic. Holmes is presented with a crime (or a strange occurrence; not all of the cases involved crimes as such), he and Watson listen to the particulars of the case, Watson is perplexed, Holmes berates him for not observing properly, Holmes then points out the details that Watson missed and deduces the correct answer, the bad guy is caught (or occasionally not), the end. I had a much better time with this book listening to only a story at a time, then switching to something else for a few days. Even so, these aren't the kind of mysteries where all the clues are available to the reader; Holmes typically only points out the details he's noticed when he's explaining what they mean. It's left me very interested to read the novels, rather than the short stories, to see how Doyle develops the mystery over the longer scale. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Definitely worth reading for anyone who likes the Sherlock Holmes adaptations, or mysteries in general, but they're better when not read straight through.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent. Sherlock Holmes is fascinating, and Watson's patience never ceases to astound me. The tone and plots were a little unexpected since all movie/TV adaptations of Holmes are very different, but it's an easy pace to fall into and I soon came to love the original Holmes just as much, if not more, as the various TV versions.
  • (4/5)
    Gotta love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s sense of humor. In one of the short stories in this omnibus, he has Sherlock Holmes saying to Dr. Watson, “If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing – a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.”This little “series of tales” was my introduction to Sherlock Holmes; intriguing little stories with odd cases to solve, none of which was beyond Holmes’s logical mind. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. It was fun to follow along and listen to ‘Watson’s interpretation’ of his thinking.
  • (4/5)
    I love Sherlock Holmes! The first story is definitely my favorite, but most of the short stories are great little mysteries.
  • (4/5)
    I have read A Study in Scarlet and quite enjoyed it. I was hoping that I would also enjoy a collection of short stories. I am torn; it is great to dip into as each story can be read during one sitting. The plots are interesting and Holmes' arrogance is quite funny. On the flipside, I found the format of the stories somewhat repetitive. These short stories also allow little room for character development.
  • (4/5)
    This set of short stories is full of interesting puzzles that seem impossible until seen from a different perspective. I quite enjoyed them.
  • (5/5)
    Unlike the earlier books in A.C. Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series, this is a collection of short stories about the famed detective rather than one over-arching mystery novel. It opens with a story involving the infamous Ms. Adler (who's from New Jersey!):To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen, but as a lover he would have placed himself in a false position. He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They were admirable things for the observer—excellent for drawing the veil from men’s motives and actions. But for the trained reasoner to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.Many of the adventures take place after Dr. Watson has married Miss Morstan, taken up his own residence, and returned to civil practice. Meanwhile, Holmes spends his time "buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature."These adventures may seem pale compared to today’s often bloody and grisly murder mysteries. Many of the cases seem rather mundane at first glance, although as Holmes points out in this conversation, the blandest-appearing mysteries often turn out to be the most complex:“It seems, from what I gather, to be one of those simply cases which are so extremely difficult.” [Holmes]“That sounds a little paradoxical.”“But it is profoundly true. Singularity is almost invariably a clue. The more featureless and commonplace a crime is, the most difficult it is to bring it home.”While it was only beginning to be alluded to in earlier two books, we see Holmes here as the master of disguise. We also learn some more about Holmes’s methods from his lips (“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” and "I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.") as well as from Watson's observations of Holmes's work ("there was something in his masterly grasp of a situation, and his keen, incisive reasoning, which made it a pleasure to me to study his system of work, and to follow the quick, subtle methods by which he disentangled the most inextricable mysteries.")When Doyle finishes the collection with “The Adventure of the Copper Benches,” he begins that story with a reflection again on his own writing, vis-à-vis a conversation between Holmes and Watson: To the man who loves art for its own sake,” remarked Sherlock Holmes, tossing aside the advertisement sheet of the Daily Telegraph, “it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived. It is pleasant to me to observe, Watson, that you have so far grasped this truth that in these little records of our cases which you have been good enough to draw up, and, I am bound to say, occasionally to embellish, you have given prominence not so much to the many causes célèbres and sensational trials in which I have figured but rather to those incidents which may have been trivial in themselves, but which have given room for those faculties of deduction and of logical synthesis which I have made my special province.” “And yet,” said I, smiling, “I cannot quite hold myself absolved from the charge of sensationalism which has been urged against my records.” “You have erred, perhaps,” he observed, taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood—“you have erred perhaps in attempting to put colour and life into each of your statements instead of confining yourself to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing.” … “At the same time,” he remarked after a pause, during which he had sat puffing at his long pipe and gazing down into the fire, “you can hardly be open to a charge of sensationalism, for out of these cases which you have been so kind as to interest yourself in, a fair proportion do not treat of crime, in its legal sense, at all. The small matter in which I endeavoured to help the King of Bohemia, the singular experience of Miss Mary Sutherland, the problem connected with the man with the twisted lip, and the incident of the noble bachelor, were all matters which are outside the pale of the law. But in avoiding the sensational, I fear that you may have bordered on the trivial.” “The end may have been so,” I answered, “but the methods I hold to have been novel and of interest.”All in all, this is indeed a work “of interest” despite its perhaps “trivial” mysteries. (Although I would argue that the mysteries are not trivial but rather interesting brain teasers for the armchair sleuth.) One thing I enjoyed about this book being a collection of short stories rather than a novel was that I could take my time and stretch out the enjoyment of this book by reading only a story or two at a time and then pausing to read something else before coming back to enjoy some more Holmes with another round or two. This is definitely a must-read for any Sherlock Holmes fan as well as a good introduction to the world-famous detective for others.
  • (4/5)
    Great collection of stories showcasing the master detectives talents. Thoroughably enjoyable.
  • (5/5)
    Mr. Sherlock Holmes – a consulting detective with a dark side, solving crimes by the dozen with his trusty partner, Doctor John Watson; the pair of Englishmen are an unstoppable team, Watson under the training of his dubiously intelligent brother of bond, the famous detective known only by the name of Holmes. Sherlock is quite the interesting character, being emotionally unattached to his cases and his only friend, and only strives to solve the mysteries at hand – his work is his only true interest, other than the woman, Irene Adler, who makes short appearances in his life throughout the many stories. Most see him as ruthless and inconsiderate, but he is merely doing what he does best: his job. He considers his job to be his life, and even though it’s the only thing he is committed to, he manages to maintain a relationship with his Boswell, John Watson. John Watson is a loyal man, one of great medical skill, and slowly learning the way of work through his unemotional partner along the way, and is more interested in social life then Holmes. Ironically enough, the two are completely different, yet they share a bond unthinkable to most, one that can never be broken, even through the toughest of hardships. These two are unstoppably unpredictable, and I find their reign wondrous.These two men face much conflict throughout the book, seeing as though it is not one story, but twelve very interesting ones instead. From photographs, to stolen identities, to cases of a governess, the possibilities they face are endless, though not unsolvable. Holmes can solve a case by simply examining the words stated by his client, making sense of nonsense, so it seemed to most. How is it that he solves such mysteries that occur? He examines anything and everything that comes to his eyes or his mind, there’s not a thought that brushes past this claimed madman’s mind, and if there is, well, he’s certainly in for some struggle, but he won’t prevail, nonetheless. It is due to his partners help that he is successful, he admits it often. The two are like opposites, but when you put them together, they make sense of the confusion through observation.These stories take place in nineteenth century London, a time of industry and wealth for the British Empire. The city is alive; the streets are filled with people, not necessarily full of joy, but filled, nonetheless. New business, new trade, new industry, new populations arising, London is reaching its pinnacle of success and standards. The Victorian era only makes the gloomy city all the more interesting, hiding many secrets beneath its surface, having much crime, which makes it the only place where Holmes would have been successful during this certain time period. Holmes isn’t Holmes without his London, or that’s the way I see it. Complications would have been different elsewhere, and much less interesting. The United Kingdom was extremely interesting during the late eighteen hundreds, much more than any other location during this time. This book has taught me that there is always an answer. Just because it isn’t seen at first glance, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to solve it anyhow. You’d be surprised what wonders observation and solving can bring you. It can make you more intelligent and open to what life throws at you, open your eyes anew to its inviting arms. All in all, this book has inspired me endlessly, and is my all-time favorite piece of classic literature.
  • (5/5)
    Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created. Now, in two paperback volumes, Bantam presents all fifty-six short stories and four novels featuring Conan Doyle’s classic hero--a truly complete collection of Sherlock Holmes’s adventures in crime!Volume I includes the early novel A Study in Scarlet, which introduced the eccentric genius of Sherlock Holmes to the world. This baffling murder mystery, with the cryptic word Rache written in blood, first brought Holmes together with Dr. John Watson. Next, The Sign of Four presents Holmes’s famous “seven percent solution” and the strange puzzle of Mary Morstan in the quintessential locked-room mystery.Also included are Holmes’s feats of extraordinary detection in such famous cases as the chilling “ The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” the baffling riddle of “The Musgrave Ritual,” and the ingeniously plotted “The Five Orange Pips,” tales that bring to life a Victorian England of horse-drawn cabs, fogs, and the famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes earned his undisputed reputation as the greatest fictional detective of all time.
  • (4/5)
    Even though I had never read any of the Sherlock Holmes books before, he is such a well known character that I knew what to expect. The book did not disappoint, with each of the twelve short stories following a mysterious case that only the ever-observant Sherlock Holmes could solve. I enjoyed Watson's narrative that seemed to make the cases feel real, even the more far fetched ones.I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading more Sherlock Holmes stories in the future.
  • (4/5)
    Loved it, but verrrrrry long.
  • (5/5)
    I decided to revisit Holmes after watching the excellent new BBC update. Still as good as I remember. I didn't notice till now however that 3 cases have the same motive.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed immensely the first few stories about Holmes however by the end of the book some of the themes were recurring and tedious. Holmes and Watson are a wonderful team and I do enjoy Holmes deductions. I did find some of Watson's preamble a little unnecessary but overall this book was an entertaining read.
  • (4/5)
    I have read a few other Sherlock Holmes stories in school and was interested in reading more so this seemed like a good compendium. I like that the stories are short and you can pick them up on and off. I think they are most enjoyed once-and-a-while as opposed to straight-through, as they can became tedious and unexciting.I listened to this in audiobook format thanks to LibriVox. The reader was ok but obviously not a professional.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of my most favorite re-reads. I enjoy picking up this tome and running through one of Sir Arthur's stories and being taken to a time past. The words bring me to London (or elsewhere) in a time before tech. I can see Holmes and Watson talking in the sitting room, looking at evidence. The twists and turns are enjoyable, as is the vast cast of characters we are introduced to. A great read for bedtime for young readers.
  • (4/5)
    This is the first volume of short stories, containing the stories written after the Sign of Four and published in the Strand. Doyle's style is enhanced, I think, by the abbreviated style - The Sign of Four and A Study in Scarlet both had the same problem with dragging and tedious narrative in the second act, while the short stories simply have no room for wandering digression. They still aren't at top form, though, I think, though they are fabulous. Doyle has an excellent turn for description; "All day the wind had screamed and the rain had beaten against the windows, so that even here in the heart of great, hand-made London we were forced to raise our minds for the instant from the routine of life and to recognise the presence of those great elemental forces which shriek at mankind through the bars of his civilisation, like untamed beasts in a cage." Some of my favorites in this collection are The Adventure of the Red-Headed League (hilarious!), The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches and The Boscombe Valley Mystery, which are all rife with an intriguing mystery and dramatic intent. We see the extent to which Holmes has come to depend on Watson, as well, and are introduced to more of the man's peculiar habits - cocaine, bending steel pokers, and loitering in opium dens which makes for a hilarious opening sequence (even in a rather lackluster story).
  • (5/5)
    These are the first Sherlock Holmes short stories--twelve of them--that first appeared in the magazine The Strand from 1891 to 1892. This presents Doyle at the top of his game with Holmes, and it was one of the short stories in this volume, "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" that was my introduction to Holmes when it was assigned in school. I'd definitely name that story as a standout, although I think my favorite might very well be the first story, "A Scandal in Bohemia" where the famously misogynistic Holmes is impressed by Irene Adler who manages to outwit him--not something you'd often see. I'd also call "The Red-Headed League" among the most memorable Sherlock Holmes story, although there's not one story in this volume I didn't love. Even more than the Holmes novels, its these short stories that made me fall in love with Holmes--and his "Boswell" Doctor James Watson--Holmes friend and our narrator and sharper and more insightful in these stories than the reputation he gained from the films.
  • (3/5)
    These twelve adventures made for fun reading. The writing style is quaint, sometimes I found it amusing that the people who came to Sherlock with their problems told their tales as if they were novelists. Holmes is an intriguing character.
  • (5/5)
    In high school, I read a dumbed-down version of the Hound of Baskerville which I found very lacking. It wasn't until I discovered the editing of Holmes' cocaine usage and the real nature of his witty dialogue that I really became interested in his detective stories (not to mention the fact that the stereotype of Sherlock Holmes portrayed in modern culture is completely obscured). When the movie came out (in which Robert Downey Jr. was the most true and exquisite Holmes), I was convinced that I needed to take the time to sit down the the actual novels and read them through.I was not disappointed in the slightest. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a fabulous collection filled with suspense, suspicion, and supposition to the truest form and, in my opinion, been the inspiration for not only CSI but most characters and situations permeating our culture.
  • (5/5)
    I had previously read Holmes in novel-length, but this is the first I've read Holmes in short form. The shorter form really seems to suit the larger-than-life character that is Sherlock Holmes. Holmes's quirks and ego, and Watson's sycophantic toadying are far more tolerable in smaller doses. Holmes's deductive reasoning is also on full display in these short tales, as attention to the details leads him to the solution, which is always "really rather simple, Watson!" It's possible for the reader who attends to the details to figure out the solution to many of these cases, generally at least, if not in all the details. The stories in this volume are just the right length to be suspenseful without being stale. It is easy to see why these detective stories have withstood the test of time.
  • (4/5)
    LibraryThing predicted (with a very high degree of confidence)that I would not like this book, but it was wrong! I had never read of any Sherlock Holmes stories before, and I found them very enjoyable, if a bit formulaic. I'm sure I will read more Holmes in the future.
  • (4/5)
    Classics never die. Watson's 1st person portrayal of Holmes is brilliant & witty. There is great chemistry between two of Doyle's most famous characters.